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The Role of Para-Social Workers in Creating Community-led Approaches to Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse: Case study on child protection within OVC programs
With guidance and training in child protection district officials and community leaders worked together to map vulnerable households and issues in communities, organize and fortify orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) response committees at the district and sub-county levels, and train PSWs to identify, report and respond to issues of child abuse, neglect and vulnerability. The following case study outlines the process undertaken by officials, para-social workers (PSWs) and community leaders in several sub-counties in Kasese District in Western Uganda to a) identify and address instances of child abuse in their communities, b) track cases of abuse and encourage reporting by victims, and c) support a para-social workforce in the communities to act as a deterrent and reduce the incidence of abuse. The program was provided through SUNRISE-OVC, a USAID-funded social welfare systems-strengthening project.